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The Refracted MuseLiterature and Optics in Early Modern Spain$
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Enrique Garciá Santo-Tomás

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780226376462

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226465876.001.0001

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(p.211) 8 Reverberations
The Refracted Muse

Enrique García Santo-Tomás

, Vincent Barletta
University of Chicago Press

“Reverberations” revisits a number of pieces published at the end of the century in which the understanding of new cosmology is still met with traces of doubt, and even resistance. The section “Foreign muses, local verses” opens the discussion with the playwright Calderón de la Barca (1600–1681)—for some, a full-fledged Copernican—and follows with two poets based in Northern Europe, Bernardino de Rebolledo (1597–1676) and Miguel de Barrios (né Daniel ha-Levi, 1635–1701), whose work combines the modern tastes of academicism (from Copenhagen and Amsterdam, respectively) with the traditional flavor of Castilian poetics. But the fatigue and disillusion so typical of the late Baroque can be felt in Spain too with the creation of new scenarios like the bazaar, where one can purchase all kinds of eyeglasses that allow for a disenchanted examination of the present. The section “Strained vision: The eyewear shop” closes this itinerary with two important moralists, the soldier and professor of mathematics Andrés Dávila y Heredia (fl. 1674) and the novelist Francisco Santos (1623–1698), who were very popular in their time, and who prove extremely useful when it comes to understanding how optics was used to comment on contemporary mores at the sunset of this kaleidoscopic century.

Keywords:   theater, illusion, Calderón de la Barca, Andrés Dávila y Heredia, Francisco Santos, eyewear shop

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